Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Battle of the Populists

Global Voices discusses the political battle between Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President "Lula" of Brazil.

It was a funny week that passed by here in Brazil, in the wake of the implementation of the Chávez government decision not to renew the broadcasting license of Radio Caracas Television. The Brazilian Senate debated the issue in one of its sessions this week and decided to ask the Venezuelan regime to reconsider the decision. Chávez, in one of his more peculiar speeches, said Brazilian senators “are a parrot that repeats whatever Washington says”, and warned that “it’s easier for the Portuguese empire to retake Brazil than for Venezuela to return the television license which finished with Venezuela’s oligarchy”. As a result Lula decided to summon Venezuela’s ambassador in Brazil to explain Chávez’s comments, and that was the signal big media outlets were waiting for in order to spread the word about the much anticipated presidential clash.


Blogger Elmondohummus said...

"...decision not to renew..."

That's sort of a mild way to put it. Despite the generally unfavorable-to-Chavez tone of the rest of the post.

No, no, believe it or not, I'm not criticizing Global Voices. Rather, I'm pointing out the incongruity of mild speak used as a description for a tremendous (in a negative sense) act. And am obliquely implying that there are some Chavez supporters who have indeed already played the "mild words" spin game with this story. I've seen it happen already (Link... ; that's just one example from Neo-Neocon's blog; Fausta's response several comments below it is an excellent one).

Like you said in a previous post, Wretchard:

"... justifying a level of media censorship he would never consent to be applied to (themselves)"

Hypocrisy abounds in too many people, such as the ones who actually try and defend Chavez. And those people think they're paragons of political virtue for saying what they do. So disgusting...

6/06/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Whoops. Didn't mean to divert the thread. Sorry. Anyway, it's good to see Brazil, no close friend (but hardly an enemy) of America, standing up to the bombast.

And it's pretty descriptive of Chavez's worldview that just because someone takes a stand against him he automatically considers them "a parrot" of "Washington". Brazil. The country that started fingerprinting American tourists in retaliation (see above link if you don't know what I'm talking about). What a small mind that man has. What's that old saying about 'if you do everything in opposition, you're still a slave to what you oppose'? Or something like that?

6/06/2007 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

The ties between the US and Brazil are a lot deeper than most would think.

But they are on an economic and social level.

The largest group of immigrants to Brazil ( in terms of net worth ) are farmers from the US and Europe.

US and European commodity and geo services are heavily invested in Brazil.

Venezeula continues to lose its skilled labor. The wholesale migration of its oilfield staff to Canada is a story in itself. A lot of IT workers are now in the USA.

In a few more years, Venzeula should be indistinguishable from Zimbabwe.

6/07/2007 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

As to Venuzuela's prospects, the unique factor here is that it is wallowing in "the Devil's Excrement", a term for easy oil coined by, ironically, the Venezuelan oil minister at the time of OPEC's founding.

"It was an oddball statement at a time when oil was bringing Venezuela unprecedented wealth – the government's 1973 revenues were larger than all previous years combined, raising hopes that the black gold would catapult Venezuela straight to First World status. But Perez Alfonso had a different name for oil: 'the devil's excrement.'
"Today he seems a prophet. When it hit the jackpot, Venezuela had a functioning democracy and the highest per- capita income on the continent. Now it has a state of near civil-war and a per-capita income lower than its 1960 level. (((Venezuela also has a screwed-up climate and is badly polluted, but who's counting.)))

Far from an anomaly, Venezuela is a classic example of that economists call the 'natural resource curse.' A 1995 analysis of developing countries by Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner found that the more an economy relies on mineral wealth, the lower its growth rate. Venezuela isn't poor despite its oil riches – it's poor because of them."

And overt socialism is the absolute best way to worsen the situation. What we have here, folks is a classic case study. Take notes.

6/07/2007 09:57:00 AM  

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